Obama OKs More Embryonic Funding, Ignores Adult Stem Cells

Bioethics   |   David Prentice, Ph.D.   |   Oct 12, 2011   |   10:16AM   |   Washington, DC

NIH Director Francis Collins has approved another human embryonic stem cell line for federal taxpayer funding. The line, HUES PGD 14, was added to the NIH registry today, bringing the total number of approved hESC lines to 136.

The line was created by Harvard University from a female embryo, and according to the information provided on the NIH website: “The embryo from which this hESC line was derived was determined through preimplantation genetic diagnosis to be affected with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.”

This highlights the point made by Dr. James Sherley and Dr. Theresa Deisher in the ongoing Sherley et al. v. Sebelius et al. case, that there is a continued demand for more embryo destruction and more hESC lines, and the current NIH guidelines continue to provide an incentive for more human embryo destruction.

Meanwhile, adult stem cells remain the gold standard for patient treatments. You can see some examples at Stem Cell Research Facts.

At the end of September, Collins approved three more human embryonic stem cell lines for taxpayer funding. Two of the three new lines from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center appear to have chromosomal abnormalities, as well as to be from destruction of full siblings.

Prior to that the Obama administration last approved more federal funding for embryonic stem cell research on August 19, when Collins approved four more human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines for the embryonic stem cell registry. Those four newest approvals are sold by the company BioTime, Inc., which had two other hESC lines approved June 2, 2011. Details of the embryo destruction and hESC derivation (including from siblings) were published by ESI and Sydney IVF workers in 2007, around the time that ESI abandoned its schemes for therapies based on hESC. BioTime subsequenctly acquired ESI in 2010.

While NIH continues to waste more taxpayer funds on destructive embryo research, adult stem cells are the only stem cell treating patients, with more and more published evidence accumulating every week. Published scientific evidence over the last few months shows effectiveness of adult stem cells in helping patients with angina pain, aggressive multiple sclerosis, enlarged hearts, systemic sclerosis, and creating new windpipes, to name just a few examples of adult stem cell successes.